Old Wimbledonian Warriors (the Warriors) is the junior section of the Old Wimbledonians RFC (OWRFC). OWRFC has a long and very successful playing tradition that dates back to the 1920’s and the excellent facilities at the Coombe Lane ground offer the space and clubhouse for children and parents to really get the most enjoyment from their rugby.
During the early 1990’s the Old Wimbledonians had a purple patch of success both on and off the field of play. Promoted twice in subsequent seasons and unbeaten in league and merit table, this period culminated in OW’s 1st XV becoming the most successful team across all of the Courage leagues for the season 92/93. A number of the coaches were lucky enough to have been a part of that success and who knows perhaps the Warriors of today will produce another all-conquering team in the years to come.
Although we are keen to be competitive and it is great to win, as a club we believe that the most important thing about rugby and sport in general is that it is fun. Our intention is to create a positive and enjoyable, team focused environment within which all players can grow personally and develop the skills to be the best team players they can be. This in turn will enable us to be competitive but with a smile on our face and the ability to lose gracefully when necessary. (Hopefully not too often!!)
The Warriors section is run by volunteers, all of whom have been DBS checked and approved and most are RFU qualified coaches and referees.
The code of conduct set out the values and behaviour that we as a club aspire to, these are:
Remember there is no 'I' in the word rugby
Being a good team player is essential to rugby success
You cannot do it alone
Everyone has a part to play
There is a position for everyone!
The officials, your opponents, coaches and teammates
Treat all as you would expect/like to be treated yourself
This code of respect forms the basis of our sport
To have FUN is the reason we play
Many teammates will become lifelong friends
Learn to value losing especially when you do your best
Understand that training leads to development, leads to more enjoyment
The vital ingredient that separates the good from the great players
Do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done
Always train hard and play hard
Discipline underpins the game of rugby
To win with grace is easy, to lose with grace is much harder
There is always tomorrow and always another chance
Sportsmanship takes courage and maturity
It will earn respect and is the foundation upon which rugby was built
Be brave and bold and rise to every challenge
Stand up and be counted especially when the going gets tough
Every Player has the courage within to overcome their fears and be a Warrior!
Warriors never give up!
The season runs from September through to the end of April each year with training sessions each Sunday excluding those days that fall over a public holiday. Training sessions are organised over two shifts; 9.30 to 11:30 and 11:30 to 13:30 unless otherwise advised by the Coaches/Team managers. Occasionally, extreme bad weather will result in the younger players’ session concluding earlier if the players are too cold or wet to play on. Please make sure that you are nearby to collect your child promptly at the end of the session.
Registration and payment of subscriptions is organised via the Warriors online system Webcollect ( www.webcollect.org.uk/).
The following rules apply to player eligibility:
Trialists can only train for the Club for a couple of weeks (non representative rugby), provided we have their details on Webcollect
No player should train without first completing basic registration on Webcollect
Bursaries are effectively having their fees paid for them
No player should be permitted to play in festivals/on Tour without having first registered with the Club and the RFU
No player should be permitted to play in league/cup fixtures without having first registered with the Club and the RFU
Guests can also train (only) with the Club subject to the above conditions.
Upon registration of your child with the Warriors via Webcollect player information is held. The registration process contains a consent clause for us to allow Coaches/Team Managers and Warriors Committee Members (The Management Team), access to that information. The information requested via Webcollect includes any disability that your child may have which the Coaches and our qualified First Aiders should be made aware of e.g. asthma and medication that they should have with them at the training sessions/matches e.g. inhalers.
Please do not use cameras, camcorders or similar items at training sessions or matches and please ask your guests not to do so either.
We may wish to take official photographs of activities that involve your child and video images during training sessions, social events at the Club and at fixtures/festivals. We would like to be able to use these images on the Club website, on the Warriors’ promotional materials, Club newsletters, Club emails and possibly in the media e.g. newspaper articles. Names will not be used with any published photos. We ask you to give your consent upon registration in Webcollect allowing us to publish pictures of your children for these purposes. If you do not wish us to use such photographs of your child, please indicate that you do not give your consent in Webcollect.
Subscriptions and Sponsorship
The Club’s objective is for the Warriors to be self-funding, not to make a profit for the Club. The principal sources of funding are membership subscriptions and sponsorship.
The membership subscription for the Warriors are collected on an annual basis via Webcollect at the beginning of each season. This covers practice and matches through to the end of the season in April. We also offer a family subscription that offer discounts for siblings. Discretionary bursaries are available and to apply please contact the Club Secretary or Treasurer.
We aim to keep all parents/guardians well informed and in the majority of cases this is most effectively done by email.
Please assist us by ensuring that your details are kept up to date. Information in Webcollect is held by family group allowing multiple email addresses per group.
We are always looking for experienced coaches or staff members that can help us make the Old Wimbledonian Warriors a success. Don’t be shy, let us know if you would like to be more involved.
Equipment, Kit & Safety
All training equipment will be provided. Players are required to wear Warriors kit for festivals, league and friendly matches. Kit is available from the Club shop which is open each Sunday during the season.
We strongly recommend players wear studded boots, as these will enable your child to keep their footing in damp conditions. It is important studs comply with the British Kite regulations. These studs may be obtained from most quality sports shops but are different to the standard plastic ones fitted to most football boots. Please check studs regularly to ensure that they have not become sharp or that any are missing.
We recommend that players of all ages consider wearing a properly fitted gum shield. It is compulsory for players in the U9 age group and above to wear a gum shield.
Protective padding and head guards may be worn but only if they have an World Rugby approved label.
Please supply any medication that may be required by your child during training and matches and please let the Coaches know if your child has a requirement to take medication.
Please also ensure that during the cold winter months, players come warmly dressed with enough layers to keep them warm and a waterproof top for when it is wet.
We cannot guarantee that drinks will be available at all training sessions and matches so please ensure that all players come with their own water bottle and a snack for the break half way through each session.
Insurance cover for Old Wimbledonian Warriors is arranged by the RFU. Details of the cover for players can be found on the RFU website www.rfu.com in Community Rugby under Club Management. http://www.community-rugby.com/communityrugby/index.cfm/Fuseaction/Home.Story/StoryTypeId/115/SectionId/1423/StoryId/16409.cfm.
Fixtures and selection
Throughout each season fixture list which will be published on the website.
We try to strike a balance between giving the opposition as a good a game as we can and trying to ensure everyone gets to play in matches during the season. Therefore, some people may play more games than others. We take into account attendance at practice, commitment and behaviour, as well as ability when making selections.
If you have any questions or concerns about selection, please feel free to speak to your Coach.
Transport to matches and bad weather
We ask parents to take their children to away fixtures and collect them afterwards. The club does not organise transport to and from matches.
Please do not assume that a game your child has been selected for is off because there has been bad weather. The ground may well be fit for play. The Coach or Team Manager will let you know if the game is called off.
Codes of Conduct
The club has a firm disciplinary policy covering players, parents and coaches.
In the event that someone misbehaves and disrupts training, or perhaps does something dangerous, we may ask them to sit out part of the training session. If this is necessary, the Coach involved will endeavour to explain what has happened to the relevant parent.
We welcome parents to training sessions and matches, and our strong preference is that you stay to watch at both. If you have to leave for some reason, please appoint another parent to be responsible for your child and notify the person taking the register and identify the parent who has agreed to be responsible for your child.
We appreciate it if children can arrive and be collected promptly. If you are going to be late picking your child up, please contact one of the Coaches or the Team Manager and let them know.
If you receive a message from the Coach that your child has been selected for a fixture, please confirm that you have received it and that your child is available. This means we can select someone else if your child is not available. There is a space for e-mail addresses on the membership form to ensure that we can keep in touch as quickly and simply as possible.
We very much value the support and input of parents and are keen for as many to be actively involved as possible. Parents who wish to assist with coaching, admin or perhaps play themselves are very welcome to join the Club.
An end-of-season players awards event for all ages and parents will be held in April each year.
Child Protection & Welfare
Children are the lifeblood of the game and it is crucial that they are cared for in the correct manner. Any player under the age of 18 is classed as a child and should be respected as such. The RFU Safeguarding Policy Guidance & Procedures sets out the key principles as well as providing best practice guidance. Everyone shares the responsibility for safeguarding and, therefore, this policy and guidance will be both relevant and useful for all those involved in creating safe environments in rugby union, whether as a parent, coach, spectator or club official.
In order to provide children with the best possible experiences and opportunities in rugby union, it is imperative that everyone operates within an accepted ethical framework and demonstrates exemplary behaviour. This not only ensures the game makes a positive contribution to the development of children, safeguards them and promotes their welfare but also protects all personnel from allegations of abuse or poor practice. Allegations of abuse or poor practice must be reported to the Warriors Child Welfare Officer. It is important when reporting an incident that the Club are informed as soon as possible in order to effectively manage any case or concern. The RFU utilises the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) to operate and manage a criminal record checking process for those working with children or vulnerable adults. A conviction or caution does not necessarily impede an individual’s future in the game; each situation is considered in relation to the individual circumstances. On all occasions the RFU and the Warriors consider the welfare of the child paramount.
Throughout each season the Warriors will hold a number of social events. Details of these events will be provided via the website and email. Help is always welcome with the organisation of social events, please contact the Warriors Social Secretary.
The Management Team
The Warriors are an unincorporated organisation run and owned by the members. The oversight of the club is managed by the Committee, all members of the committee are volunteers and are elected on a perpetual basis. Playing and training is managed by Coaches and Team Managers who are organised by age group.